There was a time when the term ‘SEO-friendly’ was not coined. The websites were either well-developed (customers were able to navigate easily) or poorly developed.
Users are now becoming more and more aware. Hence, an easy-to-use website will not cut it. An SEO-friendly website will make it more appealing to the user and improve their experience. The better experience you offer to your users, the lesser is the website bounce rate. Perhaps this reason has led to an increasing number of businesses opting for a website redesign.
Moreover, when you offer a good user experience, it also helps give your SEO efforts a boost. And who doesn’t want to rank on the top of the SERPs?
What is website redesign?
As the name suggests, website redesign means pulling down your existing website and designing it again to gain better results. It is a complex, step-by-step procedure of upgrading content, optimizing navigation, and revising layouts to completely revamp your website. It also involves modifying back-end features that may affect the website’s functionality.
The most common objective behind redesigning a website is to improve its performance or boost conversion rates. However, it may also be undertaken as a part of the brand revamping strategy. Depending on these objectives, the extent of redesigning may also differ from case to case. There are plenty of ways that you can leverage to make a website more SEO-friendly and offer a remarkable user experience. Find out the ways below.
How to redesign your website?
Make the website responsive
There are so many devices at the disposal of an individual today. Each of these devices comes in different screen sizes. As a result, your website should look well on every device. If you design a website keeping only the laptop or desktop screens in mind, it can be a little challenging for you to retain your visitors. Why? Because you won’t know the device that your users are using to visit your website.
People mostly use smartphones as it’s easy and convenient. If your website seems cluttered and unappealing on a mobile phone, it will offer a poor user experience, even if you have an amazing website for a bigger device. Google now ranks websites based on their responsiveness on mobiles. Thus, you must make your website responsive to all devices.
Make navigation intuitive
Your navigation bar is perhaps the most crucial element of your website. Users tend to orient themselves with your website using the navigation bar, especially those who are visiting for the first time.
The simpler the navigation bar is, the better is its user experience. Website visitors will use this bar to go from one web page to another or to get back to the landing page. If you make it complex, it can easily confuse your visitor, resulting in their exit.
You must also make sure that the navigation bar is placed in the same location on every page. This just means that if you have your navigation on the right corner, keep it there on all the pages of your website.
Before finalizing, you can conduct A/B testing. This is where you play around with the different positions, wording, and tab placements on the navigation bar.
Place your logo properly
Website visitors have certain habits when it comes to navigating a site. Sometimes, it’s best to adhere to what they are already used to. It induces a sense of familiarity in them and can make them feel a little more comfortable as they go through your website.
One such habit is looking towards the top-left corner for your brand’s logo. Your logo is a part of your brand’s identity and can help the visitors recognize you and improve your brand’s recall value. This logo should also be clickable. It should allow the users to navigate back to the home page as and when they want, irrespective of where they are on your website.
Speed up your website
In the world of digital, ranking on top of the SERPs is highly desired. One thing you must understand here is that the search engines consider SEO friendliness and user experience before they rank your website.
Algorithm guidelines are always based on how a user feels when they interact with your website. If your website speed is slow your bounce rates will increase. There is not enough patience or time with the users today to wait for your web page to load. Thus, you should take measures to improve the speed of your website. It’ll not only make your website help your SEO ranking.
Add the search option
We are in the habit of searching for the smallest of things on the web. Whether it’s the name of a certain product, an answer to a math problem, or the song that you only know the lyrics of.
This search option allows us to reach our destination and helps us find relief. Otherwise, curiosity does get the best of us. Similarly, if your user is desperately in search of something particular on your website and you don’t offer them a search option to make it easier for them to find it, it can cause problems.
Your user might feel frustrated and decide to never come back to your website. And you don’t want that to happen to you. Therefore, to make it easy for your user to navigate around the website, you must add a search option. This search option will help them reach their final destination a lot quicker than you might have anticipated. Thus, offering a good user experience.
Add proper CTAs
A call to action will prompt your website visitor to take an action (preferably desired) on your website. You should use a CTA that is simple yet sends a strong message.
When your website visitor finds what they are looking for in the website, they are inclined towards taking action. It could be registering for a newsletter, subscribing to a paid membership for better offers, or maybe buying something. If your website visitor finds what they are looking for in your website, then your website must help them take the next step, so that they turn into a customer.
This is where your CTAs can help. You must add these buttons strategically; they should be easy to locate yet shouldn’t disrupt the flow of your website. Conduct A/B testing to identify what colored buttons or positions work with the website.
Add correct contact information
Add your contact information to your website and try not to change it often. If you however have an updated email address or phone number, mention them to the website.
If you don’t offer contact information to your users, you miss out on the huge potential of keeping customers through customer support. Lack of contact information also makes your website seem more credible and trustworthy. Customer support is an important factor for every kind of business.
It is suggested to offer something more than an email. Not everyone is comfortable sending emails to a business. You can work towards making it easier to reach out to you by adding more ways of communication.
Also, If you don’t and the user is not able to reach you, you will lose out on your customers then as well.
Add social media links
Social media is an indispensable form of communication. With almost the whole world using social media, your business must use a few of these platforms to boost your reach.
Now, if you have such a strong social media presence, you must show it off to the customers. Add links to all your platforms on your website. It allows you to direct your website visitors to your social platforms and can help your social presence grow more.
Moreover, you might find a few customers who prefer a less formal environment to connect with your brand. You can use these platforms to share news about your new launches, make them participate in contests, and a lot more. The more your customers know about you, the better.
Provide proper information
Content is always the king. But being a king is dependent on the type of content provided. When you have website visitors, it often means they have concerns and are looking for a solution for the same. That’s why they are on your website.
This solution could be some information about their concern or a product. This means that the content that you add to your website must be in-depth and provide proper information to them.
Also, make sure all the information is available to them easily. If it requires them to go to a different webpage on your site and frustrate them further leading to an increase in your bounce rate. The way you present this content is also important to ensure your website is SEO-friendly. Be considerate when you choose your typography, font size, and placement. It will help you go a long way.
Tips to redesign your website successfully
As a website is a successful digital marketing tool, if this strategy goes wrong, it can affect your sales a lot. As a result, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when planning a website redesign:
Determine your aims and outcomes for redesigning.
The first step in creating a strategy is to identify the specific goals you want to accomplish by revamping your website. You should conduct a website check thoroughly to ensure that all the objectives are addressed in the web redesign strategy. It lowers the project’s chances of drifting from the goals. You should state them clearly and distribute them to everyone involved in the website redesigning process. This ensures that the whole team is on the same page. It lessens the possibility of the project going off the rails. Furthermore, it gives you full clarity about how your attempts should be focused.
Recognize your intended audience.
Your website is completely focused on customers. Your website redesign strategy should also prioritize the needs and requirements of your intended audience. The result should convey to your clients that this website was created particularly for them. Thus, your redesign strategy should also have the needs and preferences of your target audience at its core. The outcome should translate to your customers that this website was specifically built for them.
Having a clear understanding of your target audience will also give you a hint of all the elements that you should and should not include in your new design.
Analyze the existing metrics
The fact that you are planning to redesign your website simply means that your existing design might not have been successful. So, instead of scrapping it entirely, you should first thoroughly analyze its metrics. Going through the conversion rate, page load speed, keyword ranking, and other important metrics of your existing website will give you detailed insights into what went wrong.
You can then use this information to ensure that your new website design does not have similar flaws. It might also give you new ideas to further improve the areas where you already excel at.
Keep your message consistent
Always maintain consistency in the message that you want to deliver to your customers. This is especially important for businesses that are opting for rebranding. Your redesigned website should align with your rebranding initiatives. There should be clarity in who you are, what you offer, and how it is supposed to benefit your customers.
The content you post on your website also plays a crucial role in this. It should resonate with the story that your brand is trying to tell customers. Thus, it should be simple, precise, and comprehensible.
How Often Should You Have Your Website Redesigned?
The average lifespan of a website is 1.5 to 2.5 years. Technologies and design trends keep changing. So the average amount of time required for a redesign to feel “fresh” and competitive is usually 1.5-2.5 years. The time frame is only a reference. Ideally, you should do what works best for your organization.
Ask yourself or your marketing team the following questions to figure out when should redesign your website:
- How often do your brands or goals shift? If you need a new website, ask yourself if your current one still represents who you are as a company.
- How much budget did you set aside for website re-design and development? Can you postpone your website redesign? Or should you spend the budget on your site redesign right away?
- How long would it take for your website to be fully operational and responsive?
- Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Then check if you can browse the site and find the required information without encountering errors or lengthy page response times.
Take into account the following factors:
- The performance of your website.
- Is your website converting enough traffic?
- Do visitors stay on the page for a longer duration to read through your blogs or services, or do they leave quickly?
Changes in the industry
For example, when Google announced to focus on mobile-first indexing, it mandated that sites be mobile-friendly first. If not, websites will have the risk of losing organic traffic and rankings from Google.
Visitors or consumers go to your website to ask questions, read content, or purchase services or goods. So, it’s best to be extra prepared when committing to a website redesign.
Design for Mobile Devices
Mobile browsing surpassed desktop browsing in 2016, and the trend has only accelerated since then. Every minute, thousands of people around the world are checking out various websites on mobile phones and tablets to find information, gain knowledge or buy products and services.
This means that there is unavoidable pressure on your website to be mobile-friendly. So, it must be able to adapt to the screen sizes and devices of the users.
People today always look for a good website experience, which includes content and page loading speed. So if you don’t design your website well and deliver your content in a reasonable time, the website viewers will go to your competitors.
To conclude, we can say that ensuring that your website is SEO-friendly is one of the important elements to ranking on top of the SERPs. You should work towards creating content that truly fulfills the search requirements of the user. Your navigation bar should be simple and easy to use, and you must offer a search option to allow your users to find what they are looking for quickly. Your main aim should be to help your users reach their goals as quickly and as easily as possible. That’s what makes your website more SEO-friendly.
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